Te Wānanga o Aotearoa Pouako Rauangi Chris Bryant-Toi (top) spearheaded a small team of artists including former tauira and whānau to create a modern maihi for Te Ohaki – the dining hall at O-Hine-Waiapu marae.
Chris says the back-story to the maihi design came from a conversation by three kuia weaving below the marae under trees by the Waikaka stream who wanted a formal dining hall to host their manuhuri.
“I’m happy with what we did within the time we had to work with," Chris says. "I think it was successful overall in that we had whānau from different backgrounds pitching in to help with the painting and get it installed in time.”
Chris’s great grandmother Te Iwa Collier and grandfather Hunia Kennedy come from O-Hine-Waiapu marae so personally it was refreshing for him to rekindle his ties one of his marae. The composite mural with kowhaiwhai patterns was installed on the outside of the wharekai.
“I spent an extra day there doing a few touch ups, and it was great to spend some time with the kaumatua of the marae.”
Former TWoA Maunga Kura Toi graduates and couple Walter ‘Bub’ Dewes (left), and Stacey Mackie heeded the call for help and drove up from Gisborne to help alongside Kaiarahi Toi Rauangi Kim Marsh (below).
Then on the last night whānau involved in the Marae DIY makeover of O-Hine-Waiapu marae in Rangitukia joined in to complete the painting that was finished in the wee hours of the morning before the reveal.
Bub Dewes, from Ngāti Rangi, said he was more than happy to lend a hand after seeing a call for help on Facebook.
“I’ve enjoyed it. You get to meet some new people, and you get to contribute to a bigger project.”
Stacey Mackie, who has been raising their six-month-old baby, said helping paint the kōwhaiwhai murals reignited her passion for painting again.
The maihi was painted at Rangitukia school - Te Whare Taperenui-a- Whatonga and as part of a koha some of the paint brushes and painting gear were left there so that the tamariki could continue painting.